328 Delivers in Nigeria - SkyBird Air receives final aircraft, whilst SpringChild Investments takes two.

Tuesday 7th May 2013

  • 328
  • Captain James Daniels Skybird and Dave Jackson MD 328

German-based completions and refurbishment company 328 Support GmbH had three reasons to be cheerful this April.  The final aircraft in a series of three Dornier 328 jet conversions (MSN 3141) was delivered to Nigerian charter company SkyBird Air in early April.

The Lagos based company, which was a new African customer for 328, accepted the refurbished 32 seat 328 Jet aircraft at 328's facilities in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. The latest delivery completes a contract worth over 14 million euros in total which saw recently rebranded 328 refurbish three Dornier 328 aircraft into two 32-seat passenger airliner conversions and a VIP configured 328DBJ TM last year. The SkyBird Air fleet now consists of Dornier Jets with serial numbers 3120, 3141 and 3151.

The VIP conversion features a first for Africa with SkyBird Air choosing the 328DBJ TM  version. This format has long range tanks fitted to the aircraft, increasing its overall range, with four passengers, to just under 2000NM.

The cabin boasts a completely renovated interior with high quality leather and suede seat covers in neutral tones complemented by red seat belts, a look that is consistent with the SkyBird Air brand. The new interiors, all of which were designed by Robin Dunlop of CTM Design who regularly works with the 328 team, are complemented by a wood veneer decorative panel,  a full HD entertainment system, and a SATCOM Wifi system.  LED lights were also incorporated both internally and externally.

The aircraft was received just as SkyBird Air was awarded its Nigerian Aircraft Operators Certificate (AOC) and with this final delivery will begin operating the three aircraft on a charter basis out of its base at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos in May.

SpringChild Investments signs for two aircraft:

In April 328 was also contracted to deliver a Dornier conversion, to SpringChild Investments, a Lagos based privately owned business. In a first for Dornier 328 conversions the configuration of MSN 3200 will boast four forward facing business class seats at the front of the aircraft, complemented by a further 23 seats in an economy format in the aft cabin. The four business seats have been engineered to slide away from each other after take-off so improving passenger comfort once the aircraft is in flight. The interior conversion and modifications of MSN 3200 will be completed by 328 at its Oberpfaffenhofen headquarters. SpringChild Investments will have the external paint work on another Dornier 328 (MSN 3221) completed at sister company JETS Bournemouth in the UK demonstrating the integrated offering the restructured 328 Group companies can offer. This aircraft is due to be commenced in late May for delivery in early June 2013.

"We are pleased to have been able to deliver these 328 conversions to the rapidly growing business aviation sector in Nigeria. It has become an important area for us and we are continually seeking opportunities to expand in the region," said Dave Jackson, Managing Director, 328 Group.

It is anticipated that both Nigerian companies will sign up for long term maintenance contracts with Type Certificate holder 328 and reflects its expanding interests on the African continent. It is currently in discussions with another African airline , which already has a single Dornier 328, for a long term maintenance contract, and is exploring the opportunity to source three more Dornier 328 aircraft on this company's behalf.

328 is well positioned to work on the African continent with its unique skill set, growing capabilities and increasing portfolio of interior manufacturer and design work on aircraft ranging from small helicopters right up to Airbus A340/Boeing 767 sized aircraft. Its expansion of maintenance expertise under the JETS brand, following the recent acquisition of a new maintenance facility at London Biggin Hill Airport is also broadening its offering enabling 328 in conjunction with JETS to offer maintenance support away from its home base of Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany.

About the 328 Group:

328 Group is the trading name of London based Quest Aviation Services Limited, which offers a broad spectrum of services to the aircraft industry. The Group employs over 250 aviation experts and supports more than 200 aircraft globally. Services offered range from maintenance and painting to STC design activities, parts' manufacture, support on numerous types of aircraft, bespoke VIP interior completions and conversions and  avionic and IFE upgrades.

328 is based at its main base in Oberphafenhoffen, near Munich, and is complemented by two UK facilities JETS Bournemouth Ltd and  JETS Biggin Hill Ltd which was launched following its purchase in December 2012.

In April 2013 the 328 Group unveiled new brand identity which splits its two prime areas of expertise -  '328' and 'JETS'. 328 reflects the company's increasing portfolio of interior manufacture and design work whilst JETS reflects its expansion of maintenance expertise under the JETS brand.

Supporting its new retro style branding, are two new websites, which highlight the scope of activities now offered under the 328 Group umbrella.

JETS and 328 are exhibiting at EBACE in Geneva (May 20-23) Stand No 388



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